UAE Warriors has a triple header this weekend, with UAE Warriors 27, 28, and 29 going down from Friday to Sunday. They’re bringing some solid MMA prospects with them, and leading the charge on that front this week.
UAE Warriors 27 | Abu Dhabi | Friday
Welterweight, Wisem Hammami (6-0)
Hammami has good hands from the looks of things and seems to have some knockout power. He has a good one-two and can sit on the outside with a jab and leg kicks. Hammami is even more of a wrestler and on top is where he’s comfortable. In the fights I’ve watched he’s been able to quickly get into the mount. From there he’s got good finishing ability with his ground and pound. Hammami fights Badreddine Diani (4-1).
PFL Challenger Series 6 | US | Friday
Heavyweight, Brett Martin (10-1)
Martin carries a lot more weight than most fighters but that doesn’t stop him from being a solid prospect. Martin is first and foremost a wrestler and a very strong guy, being able to lift opponents and slam them to the mat. Once on top, he is staying there as he knows how to use his weight but doesn’t just lay and pray. Martin has very good ground-and-pound and on the feet, he does have knockout power and relies more on his wrestling. He fights Giacomo Lemos (7-0).
Heavyweight, Adam Keresh (4-0)
From Israel Keresh is a nice prospect in the heavyweight division. Keresh fights light on his feet moving in and out showing credible footwork. His hands are good and dangerous but it’s his legs that do the talking. His kickboxing is smooth and repetitive it terms of not letting up on his attack. There needs to be more seen but he’s looked good so far. He fights Chad Johnson (6-3).
LFA 127 | US | Friday
Middleweight, Ozzy Diaz (6-1)
After a loss in 2018 Diaz has won his last four finishing all four of his opponents. Diaz has finished by knocking guys out, TKO, and by submission. He throws straight punches down the middle and puts kicks behind what he throws. Diaz has really good accuracy and is proficient at everything he does. He’s on a roll looking stellar here lately. He fights Bruno Assis (12-5).
Bantamweight, Josh Wang-Kim (4-0)
Wang-kim is an excellent talent that has the full package. On the feet, his footwork is on point and his shot selection is top-notch. He has a wide arrange of offense from the outside with his hands and legs and the inside with his knees. Wang-Kim has solid wrestling and his jiu-jitsu is arguably his best weapon. Wang-Kim can chain submission to submission from anywhere being on top or more so off his back. He has is all and the experience having fought twenty times combined as a pro and amateur. He fights Arnold Jimenez (7-2).
ONE Championship | Singapore | Saturday
Strawweight, Stamp Fairtex (8-1)
Nong Stamp (Stamp Fairtex) is a world kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, with a Muay Thai record of 63-15-5. Her sole loss in MMA to Alyona Rassohyna; Fairtex won the rematch two months ago. She’s shown her kickboxing and Muay Thai skills of course, and although she could throw more volume, she picks her shots well. Fairtex does have a submission win and overall has pretty good grappling. She fights Angela Lee (10-2).
UAE Warriors 28 | Abu Dhabi | Saturday
Bantamweight, Dakota Ditcheva (4-0)
Ditcheva has an extensive Muay Thai background and a very successful one at that. She is a British Muay Thai champion and a member of the British team that won the International Federation of Muay Thai amateur World Championships in Jönköping, Sweden. She’s also a three-time world champion. The takedown defense has been stellar. Ditcheva does excellent work staying busy with knees while defending wrists and landing while she’s framing off. At distance, she will chip away with leg kicks, kicks to the midsection, and long strikes. This young woman is the future. She fights Paula Cristina (5-0).
Flyweight, Abdula Aliev (10-0)
Hailing from Kizilyurt, Russia is the former WLF champion Abdula Aliev. Aliev has fought in China his entire career all for WLF Wars. He became their champion in 2019 and has two title defenses. Aliev hasn’t fought since early 2020; once his career resumes his dominance should resume as well. He is a strong wrestler with a dominant ground game and a deep gas tank. He fights Jenel Lausa (7-6).
Lightweight, John Mitchell (4-0)
Out of Ireland, Mitchell is a bright prospect in this lightweight division. Despite not much pro experience, Mitchell did have a long amateur career going 11-2. On the feet, Mitchell fights very well on the outside. He throws a good knee up the middle and has a strong straight jab. Even making guys pay when they plant their feet he’ll lunge in with lead hooks. Mitchell is an even better grappler. I have no complaint about his jiu-jitsu at all. He can open you up with constant ground and pound or take the back and secure the RNC. Really well-versed is the Irishman. He fights Mariusz Mazur (5-2).
Lightweight, William Gomis (8-2)
Gomis impressed me in his last fight when he beat a really tough opponent in Tobias Harila. Gomis is a really dangerous guy when he blitzes forward and off his back foot. He’s throws a lot of good kicks and his hands compliment his offensive output. He does a fine job of always staying busy. Not the cleanest on the mat but he can wrestle and grapple when needed. It’s going to be tough to figure out Gomis on the feet where he’s so tricky. I really like Gomis and think he can be something one day. He fights Austin Arnett (17-7).
Bantamweight, Sarvadzhon Khamidov (12-0)
Khamidov is a grinder that has gone the distance five straight times. He’s not the most powerful guy but is accurate in won he throws. He throws a lot of potshots with his hands and on the feet the leg kicks is his best weapon. Khamidov is a much better wrestler and that is timed after his striking. He can chain wrestle as well when needed. Khamidov isn’t the heaviest guy on top but his wrestling and gas tank eventually break guys. He fights Fabricio Sarraff (29-9).
Oktagon Prime 5 | Slowakia | Saturday
Welterweight, Mate Kertesz (11-4)
Not much on the feet but Kertesz brings heavy pressure and leg kicks. Everything is to set up the takedown and once he gets it there he has smothering top pressure. Even though he isn’t a finish-heavy fighter he stays active and dominates in position. I’m not sold on him but he’s won three in a row. He fights well-known veteran Bojan Velickovic (20-11-2).
Light-heavyweight, Rafael Xavier (10-6)
After a rough 2018-2019 Xavier is now on a three-fight win streak. Xavier is well-rounded but reckless too. He’ll let his hands go in brawls and when rocked he’ll swing instead of covering up. Xavier has a long frame and uses it with his kicks and long straight punches. He has the power to sit guys down with just a jab. His grappling is probably his best weapon. He will accept being off his back but on top he’s very dangerous. An action fighter that’s trying to get to the next level. Xavier fights Marcin Łazarz (13-7).
Featherweight, Mate Sanikidze (7-2)
His biggest knock is he lets his opponents walk him down. That’s because he’s so confident with his abilities he doesn’t mind fighting off his back foot. One reason being that his counter striking is arguably his best attribute. More of a striker/kickboxer but lately he’s decided to wrestle more. Not a great wrestler but he’s come a long way compared to a few years ago. He blends in his striking and takedowns together so well it’s tough to know when he will shoot. He’s the same way with his striking as he mixes in kicks and punches, always throwing something different. Overall he’s hard to read. Sanikidze has a nice flow to him on the feet. He throws some slick combinations while the release and hands are quick from the hip. Sanikidze fights David Moon (9-4).
ACA 138 | Russia | Sunday
Featherweight, Andrey Goncharov (15-3)
Goncharov is a firecracker of a striker who is super technical. Along with superb boxing skills he has lights out power in his hands. His combinations, output, shot placement, and bodywork is excellent. His hands are sharp and can break guys down during the duration of the fight. He can also stop the fight at any moment when he lands clean. His takedown defense needs some work but it does improve as the fight goes on. Goncharov fights Apti Bimarzaev (17-3).
Welterweight, Ayndi Umakhanov (11-0)
Umakhanov has an impressive record and has beat good fighters in the last three years. He’s got a decent ground game and a good wrestling base but is a much more confident striker. Umakhanov fights long. He has a good jab, uses a lot of teep kicks, and a sniper-like one-two. Umakhanov has excellent hands. He fights Edil Esengulov (16-5-1).
ProFC 70 | Russia | Sunday
Featherweight, Shamil Gasanov (11-0)
Gasanov is undefeated in MMA and even before that has excelled in combat sports. He’s a two-time World and European grappling champion. Also, Gasanov is a three-time Pankration champion in Russia. Gasanov is good everywhere but excels more when he lands takedowns. His grappling is top notch and as his wrestling could be better there is no question he’s a good wrestler. With only a few minor adjustments he’s a problem. He fights Akhmed Balkizov (11-3-1).
Heavyweight, Batradz Gazzaev (3-0)
Gazzaev started his MMA journey just last July but still had a lot of experience as a wrestler. He was a junior champion and a Russian national champion in 2013. A really good background in freestyle wrestling and had some really good success. So far in MMA, Gazzaev has dominated bell to bell. Getting early takedowns, dominating top position, and landing constant ground and pound until the ref steps in. To get the fight down as soon as possible has been the story. So far, his striking hasn’t been tested to see how he fares if he can’t get the takedown. He’ll throw looping strikes to close the distance to work the takedown. Gazzaev isn’t a guy you want closing the distance on you. He’s extremely physical just bullying grown men on their back. He fights Amirkhan Isagadzhiev (4-2).
Fury FC 59 | US | Sunday
Light heavyweight, George Tokkos (6-2)
Tokkos is light on the feet with a good jab. It’s the grappling where he shines. If you’re caught slipping he will catch you with various chokes from the darce to the anaconda to the arm-triangle. Not just a submission threat, his ground and pound is fight-ending as well. He fights Ty Flores (9-3) for the title.
Lightweight, Nazim Sadykhov (5-1)
Matt Serra and Ray Longo have something with this kid because Sadykhov oozes with potential. Sadykhov is well-rounded, has a good gas tank, fights smart, and has the killer instinct. Sadykhov throws a lot of volume from a lot of different angles. His left hand is his power shot but he throws everything including the kitchen sink. He just lets everything go and you never know what he’s going to throw. I like Sadykhov a lot. He fights Joe Boerschig (6-4).